Writer Friendships

From Women Writers, Women’s Books:

For the longest time I sat in my office diligently typing, inwardly moaning because writing is a solitary process. And I’m an ambivert with strong extrovert leanings.

But as it turned out—just this one time—I was wrong.

Writing is not solitary. You may technically be alone when you write (although it can feel pretty crowded in my brain as my characters chatter) but the best writers have strong connections. Good writers need strong connections. Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, nobody can produce in a vacuum. Well, I don’t know…maybe Stephen King can. I think he could produce in a vacuum, a washing machine, or a microwave.

It doesn’t matter where you live—small town, mega-city, or foreign country—as long as you have internet access, you can experience a writing community. Your community can be small and intimate or large and boisterous. You can get it via Zoom meetings, phone calls, emails, texts, and even snail mail. You can find people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, websites, blogs, and TikTok.

Just like those dating sites allow people to meet each other, writers can instantly hook up with other writers. We can find our tribe without even leaving our couch/desk/table. All we have to do is a smidge of research to see what sites suit us best.

I can’t remember now how my critique partner Susan and I met but her friendship has proven invaluable. She helps me add sizzle and polish to my writing, think about what’s missing (it’s usually tension), and catch errors. An incredible encourager, she always finds something positive to say about my writing. And, I fully admit, I enjoy hearing the positive.

It was Susan who encouraged me to submit to the publisher who will release my novel in June 2023. Which led me to another fabulous community—the people who share my publisher. This is especially helpful because I’m a debut author. I not only ask them about their experiences traveling the long road to publication, but I also glean invaluable advice on marketing.

Through Women’s Fiction Writers of America I’ve met more friends. I especially enjoyed being matched with three other writers for a critique group. What a boon that has been.

Link to the rest at Women Writers, Women’s Books

4 thoughts on “Writer Friendships”

  1. “Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, nobody can produce in a vacuum. Well, I don’t know… maybe Stephen King can. I think he could produce in a vacuum, a washing machine, or a microwave.”

    Yup. Stephen King, Lee Child, James Lee Burke, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, me, and countless other prolific fiction writers who trust their characters to tell the story that they, not the writer, are living. (grin) Plus we get to actually have fun writing.

    • Yeah, I don’t have a “writing partner” either 🙂 .

      I will say it is fun to have (blog-type) access to a loose group of other compatible writers so that you can (1) be encouraged by evidence that others have conquered X situation (or failed to do so, when you did); and (2) have a place to share snark. Sharing snark seems to be an essential joy…

      • Hi Karen, I can’t say I understand what “conquered X situation” means. If you’re talking about story problems, for me and the writers I mentioned, story problems are the domain of the characters. After all, it’s their story.

        The only thing we conquer is our own critical, negative voice as it tries to slow or stop our writing. If you’re interested, for a start take a look at https://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-i-teach-so-i-may-learn/. (The Journal is also where I snark. 🙂 )

  2. I meant the difficulties in assembling any long-form fiction: structure, characters, language, publishing, marketing, etc. — we’re all novices at the mechanics of telling & selling good stories when we start out. 🙂

Comments are closed.